Needle and syringe program

The Needle and Syringe Program (previously called the Clean Needle Program) is an important public health initiative that reduces the spread of blood borne viruses including HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs and the wider community.

The program provides a range of services including the provision of sterile needles and syringes, sharps disposal containers and disposal facilities, information, education, and referral for people who inject drugs.

Metropolitan and country Needle and Syringe Program sites

To find your nearest Needle and Syringe Program site please download the Needle and Syringe Program site list (PDF 308KB).

Needle and Syringe Program Locator map

Needle and Syringe Program Locator map

To find your nearest Needle and Syringe Program site that has a Hepatitis SA Peer Educator please visit Hepatitis SA Peer Educator page or call Alcohol and Drug Information (ADIS) on 1300 13 1340.  For confidential telephone counselling, information and referral service for the general public, concerned family and friends, students and health professionals.

If you find unsafely disposed of syringes, call the Needle Clean Up Hotline on 1300 13 1340.
For more information you can access our brochure: What to do if you find used syringes (PDF 125KB).

Information kit

The Needle and Syringe Program information kit provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Needle and Syringe Program.

The kit consists of two booklets:

  1. Needle and Syringe Program: Your questions answered
  2. Needle and Syringe Program: A review of the evidence.

Benefits of the Needle and Syringe Program

The Needle and Syringe Program reduces blood borne virus transmission and increases other health and social outcomes effectively, safely and cost efficiently. This is achieved by the provision of a range of services to people who inject drugs including:

  • the distribution of sterile needles and syringes and disposal equipment
  • the provision of information and education about safer injecting practices and safe disposal practices
  • referral to a variety of services such as drug treatment, health, legal, and social services.

Evidence shows participation in the Needle and Syringe Program results in:

  • more clients accessing primary health care services
  • higher rates of enrolment in drug treatment programs
  • higher treatment retention rates.

The Needle and Syringe Program is also associated with:

  • reduced rates of injecting
  • increased cessation of injecting
  • overall improvement in quality of life.

Return on investment

Australian Governments invested $243 million dollars in needle and syringe programs between 2000 and 2009. Australia wide, needle and syringe programs are estimated to have saved $1.28 billion dollars in downstream health care costs during this 10-year period. It is estimated that needle and syringe programs have directly averted 32,050 new HIV infections and 96,667 new hepatitis C infections.

Further information

Contact us

Needle and Syringe Program Administration